Friday, March 13, 2015

The Walking Dead: Zombies Represent Communism

Zombie Leon Trotsky no longer has an axe in his head. Rick pulled it out and gave it to Carl. 

What does Communism have to do with the AMC show The Walking Dead?
A lot. But let’s start at the beginning.Communism (or more precisely, the fear of it) is the key driver of the popularity of the Zombie genre and flesh-eating zombies as a concept in fiction.

The honor of being ‘the first Zombie movie’ is universally considered to belong to Night of the Living Dead by George Romero which was released in 1968.

While other zombie movies pre-date it, other so called zombie movies use the term zombie as a ‘voodoo’ or ‘mind-control’ concept; in which the dead or ‘sort-of dead’ are used as pawns by a voodoo master. Though hard-core fiction historians may correct me on this, the first use of the shambling, direction-less, human-flesh-eating un-dead appears to be Night of the Living Dead. And, even if it wasn't the first, it was by far the first popular example of zombies, grossing 12 million domestically in 1968 dollars. That’s big money in 1968 movie terms.

Why did Night of the Living Dead strike such a cord, particularly with American audiences?
Because it was released at the height of the Cold War when the threat from Communism was large and a daily reality for many Americans.

You see, Zombies represent Communism.

This is the Definition of Communism from Wikipedia:
“Communism is a socioeconomic system structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and characterized by the absence of social classes, money, and the state; as well as a social, political and economic ideology and movement that aims to establish this social order.”
Here are the two definitions from
“1. a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state. 
2. a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.”

Zombies are the single and self-perpetuating political party of the apocalypse.
Zombies are the communal property holders. Everything belongs to the Zombie, and the Zombies are one mass entity. There is no ownership for individual Zombies, only the group.
Zombies cannot be bribed; your money is no good on them. Zombies have no social class, they are one class, and your class doesn’t matter to them.
Zombies have no private property laws - they break in to your house, steal your stuff,  and eat your brains!

In Communism, there is no individual. There is only the mass; there is only the ‘greater good’. In Zombie films, particularly Night of the Living Dead, the individual is always going to lose. The zombies are going to get you. You will fight them, but you will lose. It is inevitable. Once there is one Zombie there inevitably will be an endless supply of Zombies. Once it starts it can’t be stopped. It’s a Domino Effect.

The zombies are many and the individuals are few, and they are doomed.  Remember that in Night of the Living Dead, no-one survives, everyone dies. The masses win. Just like Communism.

Think this isn't the great fear of American cinema audiences in 1968?  In the very real world, less than 10 years before Night of the Living Dead, the Zombies came for people living about 100 miles off the coast of Florida. The zombies took their property and their possessions and gave it to the masses, the zombies took their society and dismantled it, and then the zombies took their lives (brains!) to appease the masses. This was called the Cuban revolution.

And don’t forget, America in 1968 was so afraid of Communism, the elimination of property, wealth and the devaluation of the individual, that we were sending tens of thousands of young American men to fight against Communism in a place called Vietnam.

Communism was very real in 1968. And Zombies represented it perfectly, tapped into that very real and primal fear of Communism and made the film a success; even if some people were responding to the connection on a subconscious level.


Then the Vietnam war lost steam, the public turned against it, and the Domino Theory was shown to mostly be false. So zombies as a pop culture icon took a back seat for a while. And then the Cold War ended with the fall of the wall and all zombie films became small time, D-level camp films. They were a joke.

But then, a slow uptick starts happening.

28 Days Later - probably the first modern zombie film, is made in 2002. It’s not a smash success, but it gets attention.
Dawn of the Dead is remade in 2004. Again, not a smash success, but it garners a cult following.

And then, the most successful show on Television appears in 2010, The Walking Dead.
And the zombie genre is back in the mainstream in a big way.


Not for nothing that NPR was writing “Is America Socialist?” articles in 2010.

Not for nothing was the Affordable Care Act (Obamcare) signed into law in March 2010.

Huh- look at that, the 2010 Mid-Term elections in Nov. 2010 were a blood bath for the Democrats of historic proportions, as most were voted out of office in favor of Republicans (despite Obama’s strong victory in 2008).

Why did that happen?

Because in 2010 the Rallying cry of the Republican Party and the perception among many Americans was “Obama [and the Democrats] are Socialists.”
Socialism: a word that is nearly synonymous with Communism.  
The fact that America was at risk of becoming (or already was) a Socialist regime connected with people.

That all started in 2010 and now The Walking Dead breaks ratings records with every new season premiere and is a legitimate cultural phenomenon. And, reminder, Obama is still in office. 

Coincidence? No way, just ask Zombie Trotsky. 


  1. A moron who doesn't know what communism is or represents. Brilliant. Ironically, this fool is describing fascism.

  2. Communism is fascism just hiding behind the "greater good" when in reality there is no greater good